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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Festivals 2002: Your reviews
The 2002 festival season is drawing to an end - and it had something for everyone.

From hard rock to house, folk to guitar pop, and fun on the farm to city centre hedonism, there was something for everyone.

It proved an eventful festival summer for other reasons too - including the fiasco surrounding the doomed Essential events, the return of Glastonbury and the trouble that marred Leeds.

BBC News Online profiled a selection of the biggest - and users sent in their reports as well.


After just getting back from Greenbelt the entire festival rocked, the late night comedy and the bands were great. Can't wait for next year now...
Chris, UK

Just got back from Leeds - £6 for a pack of cigaerettes? Ha!
Pete Nottage, UK

I'm just wondering why Gig On the Green got so little media coverage this year? Yes, the number of tickets sold may have had a knock-on effect on cutbacks (yes, a few more portaloos would've done it for me) but the line-up certainly didn't suffer at all, with all the bands playing (minus Raging Bint-Horn, but I don't think they were well missed).
Julie, Glasgow, Scotland

Leeds Festival: The line-up this year was one of the best I've seen for any festival, and it didn't fail in pleasing me. The sound quality of most of the acts was brilliant and everyone seemed to have a really good time listening to them. Guns and Roses were amazing, the long wait to hear them live was worth it. The only thing that could have lessened my good time was the few idiots who got tanked up on alcohol during the day and then acted like pathetic thugs on the last night. A lot of the bands who played encouraged us all to look after each other, to pick people up who fall in the mosh pit. It's obvious these fools weren't at the festival to listen.
Edd Almond, England

Leeds was a prime example of how not to run a festival. Although the music was fantastic, albeit quiet and poorly amplified, The food, beer and other goods were overpriced and over rated. The whole image sponsered events have has just turned into a money making events for the organisers. Stand up you organisers and come up with a bigger and better plan for our hard earned money, we aint all rich Radio One presenters. Give the people a chance to enjoy music at a fair price and in decent surroundings.
Gary, UK

St Augustines Music Festival, Ipswich Eight hours of musical spectacular. From festival stalwalt James Allen, through to Bosa Supa Nova, Atomic Man and the headline act Daddy Paul. This will always be THE festival of the August bank holiday weekend.
Paul Graham, UK

This year's Leeds festival was organised well in some ways (the great live acts and the security) but atrociously in others (transport to/from the festival, shower facilities, incredibly over-priced food) - the attitude of the festival now is that on the last night the toilets are going to get burned down, and the police should have known that it would happen and should have taken better precautions to stop it. Maybe then the festival wouldn't have such a bad reputation as it does. Otherwise, it was absolutely superb and I hope it returns next year without any trouble.
Sam, UK

I went to Creamfields and it was a fantastic job! I have to disagree with John, the police did a good job keeping the idiots in order and let the rest of the happy clubbers get on with a great night. My highlight was the live sets by Underworld, Lemon Jelly and Faithless. It rocked (in a dance kinda way :-)
Alex Bennee, UK

Leeds 2002, well it rocked to say the least, the bands were amazing. but for the fools that say it's under 18s that are louts - no way!! I myself am under that and stood watching a 40-year-old man spit on a load of onlookers and throw beer over everyone. Then in the pit a man again in his late 30s/early 40s was running around throwing himself at girls my age and younger, really not caring at all. So if anyone needs someone responsible with them it's these losers. The violence, I mean dont permit it but the prices were awful and Carling should limit the beer they sell so people aren't so unknowingly reckless.
Ben, England

Leeds: the music was fantastic from start to finish, food and drink was overpriced, the access from campsite to arena was barely adequate. I was in the yellow campsite, didn't get any sleep on the last night, especially with helicopters patrolling all night. I witnessed three security staff on the Thursday night leaving a collection of fire extinguishers unmanned at a tower, telling nearby campers to "make sure no one steals them"! Yes there are always idiots bent on trouble on the last night, but the attitude and competence of site security was woeful. Some of the security staff seemed to be little more than 16-18 years old. Mean Fiddler can organise a great band line-up but they are hopeless at delivering camping facilities and security worthy of the punter's money.
Mike, UK

Leeds: I camped in the field where those idiots set fire to the toilet block. There were lots of smaller fires across that site which people were throwing aerosol cans and fireworks onto causing small explosions - all dangerously close to peoples' tents. It was a frightening evening.

D, UK

This was my first ever Leeds and I personally had a good time. The mood was good with the real music fans, the bands were great and I didn't see that much violence, but thankfully I left just before the Foo Fighters to retire to my tent, in the red camp site. By the time I was retiring to bed drunken people were returning and soon loud explosions could be heard throughout the night. The police helicopter above merely watching. I saw two police men on patrol all weekend, and six driving around in a van. They seemed a bit too relaxed. Litter also seemed to be a major problem. But I would go again without a doubt.
P!!!, England

Leeds: The whole of the Festival had a mellow sort of mood. I was camped in the area most affected by the riots, less than 100m from where the portable building and toilets were burned. There were many people standing around, but hardly any joining in. The responsibility of burning the toilets and buildings falls down to a number far smaller than 500. I think that was a slightly exaggerated estimate. This has happened at every year for at least the last three years. The authorities should have expected this and been better prepared. It took a long while, almost half an hour for the authorities to respond to the riots. The police in riot gear initially came, and there were only eight of them. Eventually about 40 came, but they too pulled back, and left the rioters to their own devices.
Andrew, England

Leeds 2002 - first of all, the music. There were really good sets from Pulp, Ash, Foo Fighters, Spiritualized and many others. It was great to catch some lesser known artists that I'll be checking out again - Fingathing and Dot Allison. Unfortunately, this will be my last Leeds festival due to the expected final night violence on Sunday. Police presence was non-existent and when it arrived didn't appear to know how to handle the situation. The location of Temple Newshaw doesn't exactly help either - the venue is way too small to hold 50,000 campers! Plus the stewards didn't seem to know a things and there weren't enough of them! To call the organisers "organisers" is a joke. If I go next year (depending on who appears) it will DEFINITELY be Reading instead.
Mike, UK

If you are trying to tell me that about 500 troublemakers who weren't actually there for the music can't be controlled then I think we should move the Leeds festival because obviously the police were blatantly incompetent during the weekend
Simon, UK

I went to the last day of the Leeds Festival and I thought it was fantastic! It was my first festival and it was amazing!! I left 10 mins before the Foo Fighters finished to miss the traffic, I'm glad I did now as well. I only just found out about the riots, I am disgusted that the 1% of music "fans" had to ruin it for the rest of us. Leeds 2003 now looks unlikely.
Sarah Greene, England

Leeds was amazing! All the bands I saw were amazing, especially Dashboard Confessional, Incubus and Easyworld!! The violence at the end was pretty mad, we were near the huge fire and riot police and the police were pretty violent to anybody and everybody. It was just a few people causing trouble and took it too far. But overall had an fantastic weekend!! SHABAH!!
Em, England

I was at the Leeds festival for the whole weekend and left Monday morning. We saw no hint of the trouble that was caused by the violence there. First we knew was when my parents phoned to check we were alright. Have to say that that the music was great and the majority of people looked like they were having a good time. But everything was at rip off prices, there were hardly any showers or water points. If you are going to treat people badly they will react in a mindless way.
Sarah Marchant, UK

Leeds 2002 was excellent right up until the last night.... which was spoilt by violence and wanton destruction by teenage thugs, forcing many people who were there to see the bands and have a good time to leave quite abruptly, including myself and three others who had travelled all the way up from Birmingham. I believe the organisers could have done more to protect the genuine festival goers from these people, as the security was almost non-existent in the camp sites over the three days. As a result of this I think the organisers should consider whether the event should be held again, and the yobs who wrecked the site should also consider their actions, which could have ended up in serious injury or even death. We will not be returning to this festival.
Will Falconer, Birmingham, UK

After just getting back from Greenbelt the entire festival rocked, the lat night comedy and the bands were great. Can't wait for next year now...
Chris, UK

V2002 was top! I had one of the best weekends of my life in Weston Park not too far away from home. Nickelback, Alanis, Chemical Brothers, Counting Crows, Gomez... the list goes on and they were all fantastic. I've been converted into a BIG Nickelback fan! Can't wait to get my pictures developed. A big hello to all those crazy people we met! SEE YOU NEXT YEAR! xxx
Stacey Tranter, England

V2002: What a weekend. The weather couldn't have been any better! All the bands played well most of all Gomez and The Chemical Brothers. It may not be the best festival of the year but it is definitly the most organised. My advice is that a Radio 1 outdoor dance arena would be perfect!!!!!
James Aggus, England

V2002: good weather - and even that was probably sponsored! Shame that some artists rambled on about capitalism and multinationals despite playing at one of the most commercialised festivals I have ever been to. Idlewild and Kosheen were rocking though.
Ade, UK

V2002: I would just like thank my my ex-girlfriend for making this by far the worst festival I have been to. She and her sister were intent on retribution the whole weekend I'm sure. This was compounded by the fact the organisation was pathetic. I have never met so many unhelpful security guards in one place, where do you find these people? Thought it was also ironic that there were so many anti capitalists in one place and such a commercial event. You have read about the £2.80 pints and the ridiculous rules on carrying water so that you were forced to buy theirs, and paying £6 to see who was on. Surely organisations like Oxfam and Greenpeace should target this festival for the gratuitous way in which it made its money.
Michael Yates, England

V2002 Weston Park Sunday - A great day. Alanis Morrissette was absolutely fantastic (I don't know what Debbie Cuthbertson is on about). Supergrass and Nickelback were also superb and the Manics topped the day off nicely. Shame Travis couldn't make it. Perhaps next year. Congrats to the organisers (apart from the toilets!!)
Roger, England

V2002 - Amazing weather, brilliant bands, and a good site. Stereophonics, Starsailor, Manics, Primal Scream all blew the crowd away - roll on V2003
John , UK

V2002: Your reporter needs to get her hearing aid turned up a bit. Alanis Morrissette was one of the best there by far. Chemical Brothers had the place rocking (for the full set) and I agree with Supergrass, they were good. Sunday was Starsailor, and Steroeophonics putting in good sets, and Primal scream fading away with their new stuff, their old stuff was good..All in all a very good weekend.
Calvin Orley, UK

V2002: This year's festival was great as was last year. My only complaint is that in temperatures that we were experiencing in Chelmsford, that water was taken off of us, and we were told that fold up chairs were dangerous. This is all very well, but when these items are sold inside the venue, it makes a mockery of it all!! Overall, the festival was well organised and we all enjoyed ourselves camping in the red campsite.
Emma, England


Fantastic line up, very well organised, comfortable camping areas and no queues getting in and out of the venue


Shaun, UK, on V2002

V2002: After we got past the amateur efforts of V-three-brain-celled security who organised a - single file - queue to get 60,000 people in to the arena the whole V concert was a storming sunkissed success. I didn't even mind getting totally ripped off paying £2.80 for a beer token that you could only use on one day (why is that?) and £6 to find out what time the bands were playing. The highlights for me don't seem to have been mentioned in the any of the write-ups: Top sweaty efforts in the tented arena from Stereo MCs, Royksopp, Badly Drawn Boy & Groove Armada. You all made my year. Thank you.
HR, Essex

V2002 Chelmsford: It was a great weekend, even got to have my photo taken with Big Brother's Spencer and while walking around saw Dermot and had a photo with him too! The bands were great, Nickleback and Alanis Morrissette being the best. A weekend I will NEVER forget!!!!!
Caroline, Essex, England

V2002 on Saturday was great.Great weather and bands. Nickelback were awesome. The organisation was suspect though. Security made me remove the plastic caps from the water bottles, only to find that the water being sold in the festival had the caps on. Just a money ploy for us to buy their water I guess...Plus the place was filthy!
Kevin B, England

V2002: Fantastic line up, very well organised, comfortable camping areas and no queues getting in and out of the venue, felt much safer environment than the previously attended Glastonbury festival and less of a drugs presence. Only complaint was lack of cash points, one of which broke down and the inflated prices, i.e. £1.50 for a cup of coffee. But will be going back next year.
Shaun, UK

V2002: WOW! What an amazing weekend! I was a V Virgin until I went to Chelmsford on Saturday and Sunday. Great crowd, great atmosphere and top line up. Nickleback and Stereophonics were brilliant! All this topped with lashings of sunshine....what more could you want! Very well organised, but not sure why it took us TWO HOURS to get out of the car park! Are the tickets for next year on sale yet!?
Joanne, UK


The schedule ran very smoothly, and with staggered stage times it meant you could catch almost every band.

Nicky, London, on Dark Jubilee

V2002: Went on Saturday to Chelmsford purely for the Manics, but was really impressed by Supergrass, Mull Historical Society and the Beta Band. There are also loads of dance stages so there is plenty for all music fans as opposed to other festivals. The only downsides were that there are hardly any taps anywhere to wash hands etc. and fill bottles with water, which would have been nice considering the heat, and there was rubbish everywhere as there are no bins. A great festival but it could learn a lot from Glastonbury.
Dan Raywood, UK

V2002: I was at Chelmsford-excellent but hot. Beverley Knight was not on long enough and on too early. Ian Brown sounded like a drunken pub singer. Top!
Dallas, UK

I was at V2002 in Chelmsford. The weather was great, the bands were better. I met the Counting Crows, who were nice, though didn't seem too happy to be signing stuff. My faith in the Stereophonics was re-established on Sunday night too. An amazing weekend...I'll probably make it my 5th visit next year!
Alison Evans, UK


I have never had so much fun in my whole life. Starsalior and The Doves were amazing,

Rosie, UK, on V2002

V2002: The event was the best organised festival I have ever attended, with a constant stream of shuttle buses to and from the venue, plenty of space to watch the bands and sit down, and excellent security staff. The bands were in top form and the atmosphere was by turns relaxed and energetic. A shocking moment occured when a girl collapsed about a metre away from where we were standing and after receiving several minutes of CPR from an onlooker, was rushed away on a stretcher by paramedics.
Sarah Donohoe, UK

I went to the Weston Park V2002. I have never had so much fun in my whole life. Starsalior and The Doves were amazing, but I have to admit, The Chemical Brothers were the best (and I'm not even into that type of stuff!)
rosie, uk

V2002: The Chemical Brothers did produce a more mellow sound towards the end of the set allowing the crowd to come back down to earth as the first half was full of power songs. The Freestylers rocked the tent with a mix of garage/drum&bass sounds which keep the crowd and pulses going for hours.
James dunn, UK

V2002:Extremely disappointed as have been going for a number of years. Security were ignorant and rude, the site was a complete mess. Lacking the normal festival atmosphere for me as entertainment was replaced with bars and alcohol turning it from a music festival into a beer festival. Will not be going next year.
Alexandra Holt, Engalnd

London's Dark Jubilee festival at Hackney's Oceans was fantastic! The schedule ran very smoothly, and with staggered stage times it meant you could catch almost every band. The line-up was excellent and the ticket price of £25 for two days was well worth it. Best of all it was indoors and the rain did not matter!
Nicky, England

V2002 Hylands Park - This was my third year and the best yet! Excellent line-ups and outstanding performances from Nickelback, Starsailor and Stereophonics. Best of all NO RAIN!!
Zoe , UK

Ozzfest was good apart from the weather. I got soaked. Also the baggage checks were poor which led to many bottles being thrown around and I saw a few people with drugs, but I guess that's normal. You had to pay more to get into the mosh, which was sectioned off, spaces for that ran out straight away even though it was only half full. Loads of people were moaning about that and quite rightly.

Also, System of a Down had to stop early because of the rain which I guess they should really have prepared for. Apart from that all the bands were very good apart from Antiproduct who didn't fit the bill. Also Millencolin weren't really accepted by the crowd but I think that was only because nobody had heard of thembefore.
Chris C, England

Coachella, the festival of the year. Set in the beautiful, dry desert near Palm Springs California. The event was held over six large, lush, green fields. There was great music from Björk, Jack Johnson, Groove Armada, Saha and Digweed,and your very own Pete Tong. There were over 50 different artists from around the world. The 30,000 people were very friendly and according to police reports, not one arrest.

The only disappointment was Oasis, who decided to taunt the American fans and sent abusive messages about Americans. When will Oasis grow up and start representing their country in a manner that I will not be embarrassed about? Other than Oasis, the best festival I have been to ever and I have been to a lot.
Vincent Cronan, USA

The Sunday of The Bristol Essential festival was, to my eyes, the strongest line-up of all three days. If only James Brown could've played it would've been perfect. But the bands that I saw more than made up for it.

The whole day was set below a tumultuous sky, that was constantly veering between grey, forboding clouds and early summer sunshine. This added to the excitement of the affair. The bands and crowds seemed to symbiotically feed off this positive atmosphere.

To the bands. The highlight of the day had to be Rocket From The Crypt's amazing headline set in one of the smaller tents. Me and a friend caught their drummer, Mario Rubalcaba (Ruby Mars) ex-pro skater for Alva in the late 80s/early 90s, tearing up the skateboard mini ramp earlier in the day, and he and the rest of the band, tore up the stage for 50 minutes straight.

Other notable bands include the musically superb Cave In, Swedish show men (and women!) (International) Noise Conspiracy, British Punk Rock kids Scuttle, and the Doors-esque Soundtrack Of Our Lives.

Despite the main stage being cancelled due to waterlogging, most people I saw still enjoyed themselves massively, and as a festival it was neither too big or too small, and retain a superb atmosphere throughout.
Simon Kiely, UK


I saw no signs of waterlogging on the day and to my knowledge there hadn't been any rain the day before or after

Sarah Cunningham, UK
Essential, Bristol
I have just been to the Dance Day and the Roots day organised by the Bristol Essential Festival. I have to say the Monday was excellent with everyone turning up (including Mr James Brown), a good atmosphere and plenty of people to talk to. The big let downs were the massive and unneccessary queues to get in and the lack of bins. The Dance day was not as busy and certianly not as lively.

My suggestion to anyone thinking of going is save your cash and just go on the Roots Day. It's altogether a better experience!

P.S. I didn't attend the rock day but it's just as well because 14 bands didn't play. Even the local news cameras weren't allowed in. Very poor show Essential!
Rob Fisher, UK

Just wanted to drop you a line to make sure you are aware of the appalling treatment festival goers received at the Essential Festival Rock/Indie day at Ashton Court, Bristol.


Frustrations could have been prevented if someone had bothered to let the crowds know what was going on

Gayle, UK
Essential, Bristol
After paying in advance £35 per ticket once a "CONFIRMED" line up had been advertised Essential then decide with just 48 hours notice to pull 15 bands from the line-up, their decision, not the bands... and the reason we get... "safety" because apparently two of the stages had to be closed due to waterlogging.

I saw no signs of waterlogging on the day and to my knowledge there hadn't been any rain the day before or after so why were all the stages open on Sunday?! There were also only signs saying that Reef and Therapy? would not be appearing on the day, no mention of the other 12/13 bands! A refund or even partial refund is most definitely deserved.

Essential should not be allowed to treat festival goers in this awful manner, I for one will never attend another Essential event again and will advise as many people as I possibly can to do the same!
Sarah Cunningham, UK

Essential Festival, Bristol: There was nothing surprising about this festival except the ticket price!
Caroline, UK

Essential, Bristol: I think it's great news that the Essential (or not) festival is being investigated by Trading Standards. There didn't appear to be too much waterlogging on the festival site that I saw - just a shortage of people there. The other shortage related to the park and ride system. There was park but no ride from Bristol City Football Club. Despite these problems - come on organisers, hold your hands up and come clean - I saw some excellent bands, the best of which were Rocket from the Crypt and Guttermouth.
Philip Gillingham, UK


Although I enjoyed it, it was a rip off. It was a quarter of the size of Ashton Court festival, and yet so inferior. We were all ripped off, but none more so than those that went on Saturday

Nikki, Bristol
Essential, Bristol: What a shambles. I paid nearly £40 to go on Saturday. I wanted to see Del la Soul. It was advertised. Was a big selling point for me. But they didn't show. Essential didn't even bother to say that they wouldn't be playing. Thanks a lot Essential. What a rip off.
Nicola, UK

Essential, Bristol: Found the event disappointing and bady organised. The ground also appeared dry. The main reason I went was to see Busta Rhymes who turned up an hour late and was also unable to finish his set. Very disappointing.
Kevin, UK

Essential, Bristol: I went to both the rock and roots day and though was disappointed with Reef and Therapy? being cancelled, the line up was still good and the bands that did play were excellent. The festival on Monday was more of a disaster - bands were pulled out of the running order and many bands did not play when they were supposed to and we waited for up to an hour for bands to come on stage for them to play a 15 minute set.

This I think is just bad organisation and frustrations could have been prevented if someone had bothered to let the crowds know what was going on. The business about the site being waterlogged was rubbish - the ground was dry on Sunday, it had rained on Monday and all the tents were open!! This makes no sense.
Gayle, UK

Essential, Bristol: I would just like to say that Ashton Court festival is £1 to get in and you get a programme when you enter, which is more than you got when you paid £35 pounds for the crap that they had the cheek to call a festival.
Angela Jeffery, Bristol

Essential, Bristol: I went to the Roots day (Bank Holiday Monday) and again, several headliner acts did not appear (inc. De La Soul, Pharoah Monch, Doug E Fresh, Biz Markie and Nitin Sawnhey). Not only was the ground in no way waterlogged, there was a three hour gap at the main stage between acts and if they did advertise cancellations, they certainly weren't made particularly visible.

All in all, it was the most disappointing festival/gig I've attended. All credit to those artists (such as Carleen Anderson, Razhel, Asian Dub Foundation and James Brown) who put on a great show and cheered up a very disillusioned crowd!
Lisa Minogue, England

The bands that did show up to the Essential Festival, Bristol "Roots" day put on some great performances. Like James Brown still a great showman, The Herbaliser & The James Taylor Quartet. Sadly this was a badly organised festival. Many bands/DJs/rappers (for example Cut Chemist and Biz Markie) on the posters didn't make it in to the program. Then more groups were missing on the day. With no explanation given it just seemed as though some of the names were hooks in the ticket sales pitch. Surly there are laws against this kind of thing?
Marcus Roberts, Bristol


The music was great but the atmosphere stank

Kevin, California
on Coachella
Essential Bristol: On arrival we were greeted with a lovely uphill hike, which must've been at least two miles long - taking a good half hour to walk. This trek upto the festival was also littered with numerous country fences to climb over, no one seemed best pleased about this and all in all, didn't get things off to a good start.

When we reached the gate news quickly spread that one stage had been closed completely, and that several acts - including the extremely popular "Therapy?" were cancelled due to the organisers being worried about moshing on damp and muddy ground. The fact that one of the mentioned erased acts were Six By Seven, a band whereby moshing is very unlikely to occur, made me question how true the official explanation was.

Sure enough the bands that were still playing were all very good and extremely enjoyable - notably the main acts I saw, Easyworld, Sahara Hotnights and My Vitriol. However the whole site was awash with rumours of low ticket sales being the real reason behind band cancellations, and with so many disappointed punters now not getting to see the bands they had hoped to see, the crowd was left generally feeling cheated.

It was a good day out, but potentially could've been so much better!
Ian Miller, UK

Ozzfest on Saturday was a complete shambles. The Kerrang stage in the exhibition centre was too full to enter, and the main stage had a barrier stopping 90% of the crowd getting anywhere near the front.

Came away drenched, demoralised and feeling completely ripped off!!!
The Dude, UK

Ozzfest was awesome. Slayer rocked, as did System of a Down, Black Label Society, Lost Prophets and Drowning Pool. Only a couple of spoilers, the weather and the lighting equipment falling onto one of the systems drum techs meaning they had to stop early. And I did not have to pay extra to get into the pit, I was there early and got straight in!

Anti product are one of the worst bands I've ever seen, I was not impressed by Cradle of Filth and what were Millencolin doing there, they was a punk band and they were really miserable, well two out of four of them were! Also, Chris C, have you ever been to a rock festival before? Drugs come as standard! And the bottle fights are a standard fixture!

The site probably was not most ideally suited to festivals, and the car parking price was a bit ridiculous when you have just payed 40 quid to get a ticket. Food and beer was cheap for a festival! Queues for everything were big, which could do with sorting, and there was no chance of getting into the signing tent most of the time!!!
Dave Nelson, UK

Coachella, a name that will be forever synonymous with anodyne, corporate, crowd-controlled, home-before-tea-time and look-both-ways-before-crossing pop presentation. My heart goes out to the bands that turned up and tried to rock; The Charlatans, The Prodigy, The Strokes and Oasis rocked in isolation, drawing little more than dumb stares from the placid and frankly dull preppy audience.

The music was great but the atmosphere stank. When Oasis took the main stage after The Prodigy had tried every trick in the book to get the crowd going (and failed, despite a stunning performance) there were more people in the VIP bar than watching the show. The only act that seemed able to get a response was the good (but mystifyingly idolised) Bjork. Even she was only able to elicit any passion by repeatedly saying "ank ewe" in an annoyingly coy/cute voice in thanks for the crowd's otherwise polite applause.


I don't think any of the true rockers minded the rain and the mud

Vixen, UK
on Ozzfest
The setting was majestic. Watching The Charlatans play from the front of the stage with a back-drop of palm trees was truly special, spoiled only by the idle chit-chat that the rest of the audience was engaged in. For this two day festival the following was banned: camping, blankets, bags, alcohol (other than in the sanctioned bar), cameras, sense of humour and a spirit of adventure. This was McRock'n'Roll.
Kevin, (Brit living in California)

Essential, Bristol: I thought the Roots day was amazing! I think it was under estimated and everyone is pointing out the bad things and none of the good. The atmosphere was great and it was a brilliant setting. I would definitely go again.
Freia Groves, Bristol

Why is everyone having a go at Ozzfest? I camped because I wanted to get in early. I headed straight for the moshpit and was clever enough to get a band. If you didn't get there early it was your own fault. You DID NOT have to pay extra to get into the mosh, and even though it rained, the day was awesome.

It was well worth being at the front for Slayer, who gave a rockin' performance and got the crowd really moving - true professionals. I didn't really go to the Kerrang stage, I would have liked to have seen Otep, but I wanted to keep my place at the main stage, so I didn't hold a grudge against not gettting in. I have to admit, by that time I was so tired that I went back to my tent. I was going to go back to see Ozzy...but I was so bushed that I was knocked out until the next morning.

A grand day at Donnington.
Vixen, UK

I was indeed in Provinssirock, Finland and found this page by accident when reading about Hundred Reasons - that band rocks! I found it rather amusing that the band found us.. .well not so sober nation! I saw their gig though, brilliant. And even got into same picture with Colin from the band.. I have to admit anyway that I enjoyed even more The Ark -splendid band from Sweden. If you ever come to Finland in June, go to Provinssirock. I recommend. Fourth time in a row there and still best festivals I've ever been to.
Saija, Finland

If you haven't ever been in Provinssirock, you can't say that Finnish people are shy! It's THE PLACE to go and meet your friends, like I met my friend from France. The atmosphere is absolutely marvellous..try sometime!
Mari H, Finland

Gatecrasher passed all expectations. The weather was hot (BBC told us it would rain!!!) and the sunset was lush. Groove Armada were funky, Sasha was untouchable, Teisto was banging and the Chemical Brothers were just as good as they were back in 1997. The only problem was the toilets, lads! Can we have a few more next time! Swimming between cubicles is not my idea of fun!
Danny Coyle, Wales

Coachella is everything that British festivals aren't - beautiful weather, great location, extreme convenience. On the flip side it is souless, atmosphereless and utterly corporate.

I was blown away by Belle and Sebastian (I didn't think such a thing was possible), frugged to Beta Band, rocked with the Strokes and was embarrassed by the Prodigy and Oasis. Screaming abuse at a festival audience might work in a sweaty club crowd - on a polo ground outside Palm Springs it is tragic posturing. Unless you can back it up with good tunes - Oasis emptied the Beatles song book years ago.

Surprise package, Ozomatli - don't know anything about them other than I almost got heat-stroke dancing to their Latino-infused rock. And that must be a good thing.

Biggest gripe - US university students who stand at the front of the gig, unsmiling, rooted to the spot. I was told by one USC student (yes, he was wearing the Trojans t-shirt) that if I wanted to dance I should go to the back! Spent the rest of the show jabbing him with a stray elbow or two.
Liam Gordon, USA (Irish)

Gatecrasher: It was amazing, totally turned-over my hatred of festivals, the music, people, weather was fantastic. only thing was the price of stuff, sort it out Crasher - £3 for a beer!! Bring on Summer Sound '03.
Claire, Sheffield

Homelands 2002 No rain, great place, fantastic sound systems, excellent people, easy atmosphere, two additional days off afterwards (cheers Queenie). Pretty hard to beat. Sounds like the beer was cheaper at Gatecrasher though, Claire. stop complaining.
Kipper, UK

Gatecrasher.Weather was great, music was great, Groove Amarda, and the Chems proved the best, both live acts at a festival mostly confined to decks. Perhaps next year some more live acts, they go off, like Fat Boy Slim in Brighton. That was a day I will never forget and will look back with fond, fond, fond memories. Back to Gatecrasher, only problem I have is that entry was appalling, tiny entries, three and a half hours from turn-off to event until i got in. That's rubbish plus having to pay for car park, that was a bit rude considering the £49 just to get in. Next make changes and don't make people wait so long and i will be back..
Richard, NZ /London

T In The Park: No rain but still muddy... ??? Anyway, nobody so far seems to have mentioned one of the best bands of Sunday - Mull Historical Society!!! They were really rockin - Sheepy was going mental on keyboards, and Colin looked great in his rabbit ears at the beginnig, and the music really really rocked. Great lyrics, lively and not like anyone else around. They don't fit into any genre I know rock-scot-brit-indie-pop??? Anyway, they were ace and made my day, as did Greenday's performance, although they went a bit overboard on the football-style chanting.

Foo Fighters were disappointing - might as well have had CD on, apart from the odd insulting remark about haggis peppered with the obligatory f-word every two seconds, they seemed pretty flat and boring. Like I said - one of the highlights - MULL HISTORICAL SOCIETY!!!
Maria, UK

Love Parade in Berlin The number of people who were there isn't correct. I was there last year, and it looked as if it were busier this year. FAR over 500,000 people. Also later in the evening more and more people came to the centre of the Love Parade, making it impossible to move around. One thing is for sure: I HAD A GREAT TIME!! Managed to make lovely pictures (I will publish them on my site later this week) just as last year. If it is on again next year, I'll go back,
Almighty, Belgium

T in the Park: Fun in the Sun! Highlights were No Doubt and Greenday. Idlewild never fail to give a good show. Oasis were good but were better at Finsbury Park last week. I hated The Hives album but had to eat my words after they put on a fantastic live show. The frontman knows how to win over the crowd. I was disappointed with the Foo Fighters but the Chemical Brothers light show made up for that. Can a better line up be pulled out of the bag for next year? Even if not, I'll still be there and I'll have the memories of this year to keep me smiling!
Sunburn is sexy, Scotland


It was an excellent day had by all. Green Day are well worth seeing for all those who haven't had the pleasure.

Gillian, Scotland, on T In The Park

T In The Park: Sadly only there for Sunday, but what a Sunday! A victim of my own diverse musical taste, I had a dilemma over what to prioritise, but managed to catch the Beta Band (consistently amazing and always attended by a very happy crowd), Orbital (the best set at the Park on Sunday without a doubt), The Hives (retro greatness, and nice suits!) and Chemical Brothers (first half of which sounded like they were playing their own CD.. second half was much better). Overall atmosphere was excellent, the beer was quite cheap and the sun even made an appearence at the end of the day! Sundays don't get better than this!
Jan, Scotland

T in the Park It was fantastic! Weather was perfect, the bands rocked the whole place. It was an excellent day had by all. Green Day are well worth seeing for all those who haven't had the pleasure.
Gillian, Scotland

Witnness Festival, Dublin: Unbelievable. An amazing city and a line up to match (and indeed thrash) any line-up of any music festival in the UK. Good to see the bands themselves weren't scared to leave the precious UK!
Kate, England

T in the Park rocked. Green Day stole the show on Sunday, what other band can cover Shout by Lulu with with punk rock madness. Idlewild were as great as every. Will the bill be better next year? Hard job but T in the Park is the essential Scottish festival!
Liza Barbour, Scotland

Picnic in the Park, London: Great line-up, great day - but - why did one of the screens go off just as Rod Stewart came on and never came back on again? There had been intermittent problems all afternoon but the technicians just decided it was too difficult to fix - or did they?
Zoe, England


WOMAD is a superbly organized festival, more suited to true lovers of music, and families with young kids, than teenagers who want to go crazy for a weekend.

Jack Burge, WOMAD
The VooV Experience, Putlitz, Germany - three days of awesome psychedelic trance on two massive sound systems, or as DJ Mark Allen puts it, "the Kumba Mela of trance music". 25,000+ people in attendance, with the best psychedelic market this side of Anjuna, and only 35 euros to get in. Amazing music and a very colourful, friendly and international crowd. The VooV is just the longest running of a whole host of open-air tecknivals which take place in Germany during the summer. Psy-trance has become a new religion!
Murray, UK

Womad: Woeful and dreary. The quality of the acts was variable to say the least, with far too many sounding as though they were going through the motions. Also why was it so expensive? The acts can't have been paid that much and the onsite facillities were up to their usual dire standards. I know Womad's a charity but don't they know it's supposed to begin at home?
David, England

Which WOMAD is "David, England" referring to that was "woeful and dreary"? Certainly not Reading, which was far from being either. As usual, the range of music was good, even though there was slightly more of a Latin American flavour this year, Salsa Celtica being one of the most enjoyable of that genre. Xavier Ruibal was exellent, and Anouska Shankar's festival-closing set was utterly spellbinding. A special mention to Misty in Roots also, who flew in with little time to spare, and were brilliant. WOMAD is a superbly organized festival, more suited to true lovers of music, and families with young kids, than teenagers who want to go crazy for a weekend. As for the price, you get what you pay for and more.
Jack Burge, England

Big Chill, Eastnor Castle: Despite ending up with a black eye (close encounter with a frisbee) had a fantastic time. As somewhat of a veteran of Big Chills, this one did not disappoint. Stunning weather, beautiful location, wonderful music, amazing vibe. The atmostphere just gets better, can people get any friendlier? From the stallholders to the security, the bands chilling out and of course us the punters, it was a big happy family. Ryksopp were awesome as were the fabulous Gotan Project. Only disappointment was the slight lack of any castle. The actual castle was a very long way away, barely visible tucked away in the forest. Next year can we actually get to see the castle properly like Lulwory Castle last year? If you haven't chilled at the Big Chill then you haven't lived!
Gabriel, UK

V2002: Great bands and beautiful weather added up to a fantastic V2002. Shame Basement Jaxx and Groove Armada played at the same time, and the sound guys messed up Ian Brown's set, but overall a fab weekend. Needs some litter men next year, though, as the place was a tip by 6pm. Didn't detract too much and the Spiderman crew were a joy to watch - especially during Kosheen! Have it!
Michael, England

V2002: Had an amazing weekend. Weather obviously helped but the bands and the general organisation was tremendous. Hats off to the organisers! High points were McAlmont & Butler in the Sauna (AKA JJB Arena), Manics, Stereophonics, Mani taking control of Primal Scream and finally, Elvis Costello looking as if he was actually enjoying himeself for once! Here's to V2003!
David Cox, UK


I've had the best weekend in England since I got here over a year ago. Thanks.

Lara Coates, England, on V2002

V2002 Chelmsford was EXCELLENT!! The good weather, the wonderful acts, including Nickelback, The Coral, Badly Drawn Boy, Gomez, Alanis, Supergrass and many more. But the highlight of the entire weekend was on Sunday evening when Messes Jones, Jones and Cable rocked Essex to its very foundations with their blistering set. Can't wait for next year....
Nickie, UK

Whoopa! Reading was cool, women, music, beer. What more could a 20-something man ask for? The Hives has to be the highlight of the weekend for me, that and the beer of course. Did I meantion that already or am I being paranoid? I did miss out the fantastic women with their "P-Mate" funnels allowing them to use urinals. Even heckling the lousy stand up comics was fun
Kingsley Smith, England

I went to the Bizarre festival last weekend in Germany - no trouble whatsoever, really cool crowd, fantastic weather. Gear was being smoked quite openly and drink was on tap - lots of chilled out unaggressive people just there to enjoy the music - Chemical Brothers, Morcheeba, Faithless, Nickleback, Korn, Puddle of Mudd etc.
Julie, Germany

I was at the Leeds festival this year and was camping in the site where the toilets were fully destroyed. I found this act of sheer destuction was completely unforgivable, in my opinion the licence should not be given again due to the lack of security. No fire or ambulance people were visable at the height of the violence and there are no surprises people got hurt.
Harry Wassell, UK

At the last minute I was pursuaded to join my friends for the full weekend at the Leeds Festival. Initially I had been hesitant due to last years violence, as amongst several others I was swept up in agressive riots and the torching of mobile toilets. On both the Saturday and Sunday nights I had my beer spiked with hallucinogenic drugs, most likely speed or acid. Although I have no idea as to who placed this in my drink, I was aware that several people in my surrounding tent area suffered similar effects from the drugs (alarming hallucinations, vomiting etc).
Jonathan Rushworth, England

I've just got back from Leeds and was in camping area 7 where the worst trouble took place. In my opinion the festival was to small for the number of people that attended the event. Everywhere was crowded unlike the previous year. Nothing was done about the muddy paths most of which became unusable, how much as a bale of straw? There was a surprisingly small number of stewards and the only police presence I saw at all was after trouble started except for sniffer dogs at the gates. The rioting was inevitable and expected, its become a tradition. Ive also been to Reading 3 years ago and that was more organised. There is a strong police presence, a larger number of toilets and cars could be parked in the same field as your tent so property can be locked away. Then again maybe we're just rougher up north?
Paul, England

Fantastic weekend at Leeds! I'm just glad we decided to come home after everything finished on Sunday night!
James, England

Leeds: I was there, the bands were mostly great. Our tent was based right by the outskirts of the outermost site but when we saw 50-100 riot police fleeing a growing inferno 200-300yds away we also grabbed what we could and bolted for refuge in the car in the nearby carpark. By Dawn riots had mostly died down but I'm told were still raging in yellow camp where it all began. A great weekend but I doubt there'll be one next year.
r0b, UK

This year's Gig on the Green was great. Highlights were Dillinger Escape Plan, Amen, The Vines, The Strokes and The Prodigy. The festival was marred only slightly by poor performances by Slipknot and The Offspring. At either side of the stage there were signs which said "NO MOSHING" but the pits during Dillinger and Amen were some of the most intense I've ever been in. Good stuff.
Owen, Scotland

I was at the Leeds event up until the end of Sunday and saw no hint of any trouble. One wonders if people coming on to the site from surrounding areas were looking to create trouble. In my opinion headlines stating "music fans riot" is not a statement of truth.
David Thompson, England

Leeds: The festival was awesome - unfortunately it looks like it won't be happening again. As usual a few mindless idiots ruin a good thing.
Stu, UK

Leeds: I was staying in the campsite affected by the violence, and was unaware of anything until i was woken by my friend at about 4.00AM. We quickly packed our tent up and left just as the police were going in. It looks to have quashed any hoped of a Leeds 2003 festival.
David Carr, England

Leeds: Myself and a couple of friends decided to leave after the final band on the Sunday rather than stay over and I'm now very glad we did. Over the three days we saw nothing but an enormous crowd of people having a fantastic time with well-organised events and top-notch security in the campsites and around the stage area. Full credit to Mean Fiddler and all other companies involved. But the one thing you can't predict is the mindset of the kind of braindead scum who'd go to an event like this and attempt to ruin it. They're like football hooligans - the few attempting to spoil it all for the majority. Out of 50,000+ people who attended the event, police reckon at around 300 who were causing trouble. That's 0.6% of the attendees. But sadly enough to bring the whole thing down. All I can suggest is that police run a similar scheme as to that for football hooligans. Name and shame and also ban then from all future events. Here's hoping, as it would be a crying shame for the festival to be denied a license next year.
Iain, England

I went to the Leeds festival but left as soon as the foo fighters finished. Me and my friends camped beneath a fire tower. This seemed to help as most of the trouble was not around us. However we heard over the radio's that the stewards had that there was lots of trouble. Since we were not affected we thought that the festival was excellent and hope to go again next year. Security seemed quite stretched at points and many feeled that there should have been a larger presence. Also we heard that many of the stewards and police were lost and needed directions. This could have been solved earlier and would of reduced and lot of problems.
James Dickson, England

I went to Gig on the Green & loved every single minute, The Strokes, Janes Addiction, The Bellrays & The Offspring were amazing!! Fingers crossed it goes ahead next year!!!
Alex McArthur, Scotland

I was Leeds for the whole weekend, and whilst I disagree with the actions of those who caused the trouble, the police should have been there in larger numbers before the trouble broke out. If they had done that, any small groups of trouble makers (which later grew to larger numbers) would have been dealt with before things got out of hand. By the way, festival itself was great, except for all the queing!
Hadley Heald, England

My ninth Reading appearance. This was the most well organised, clean but quiet Reading yet. Rain seemed extremely well timed to dampen both Jane's Addiction and Muse. Although both were still fantastic. We need to move the headline events to half hour before sunset as this is the best time in the day. We also need more Brit baiting from Yanks like Rollins next year. It's not the same without a riled up crowd.
Paul Biggs, England

Went to the Leeds Festival for the weekend. I thought the music was excellent this year, especially Guns 'N' Roses, Incubus, Foo Fighters, the Hives, the Vines and the Strokes. As always the only bad thing was a certain proportion of the crowd. I cannot see why some people take pleasure in throwing bottles full of water as hard as they can at people. Furthermore, certain people had no manners and just barged their way past whenever they felt like it. Over the weekend, I looked at the people that were behaving like louts and discovered that the vast majority of them were under 18 years of age. This same age group were the ones that decided to light campfires on the plastic near the stage before the Foo Fighters! (Surely, an unbelievably dangerous fire hazard!). I suggest that in the future, Mean Fiddler makes the event for over 18's only with under 18's allowed entrance only if accompanied by an adult. I'm sure there would be no trouble at all and the event would be hassle free! for all concerned if this rule is imposed.
Damien, England

Leeds: I stayed all weekend and it was really good, everyone was great. My mates and I had just got back to the tent and we could hear loads of shouting and banging over in the other camp site. There were big loud explosions and a massive plume of black smoke went accross the motorway. You could see and hear the fires. There were police helicopters everywhere. It was really bad.
Dan, UK

Leeds: No doubt the police will be attending next years event in full riot gear with armed response vans nearby, as they did until recently at the Notting Hill Carnival!
Robin Chakraborty, England

Leeds: The violence in my view has been overrated. Yes I do admit there was a few people causing trouble on Sunday, but overall the festival went smoothly. There is violence in every town/City in the UK every weekend. Why should Leeds festival be singled out??
Richard Turner, England

Leeds: I have to say that I'm not surprised there was some anger. £2 for a bottle of water, £3 for a pint, and £15 a day for enough of the slop they called food to feel reasonably full will tick anybody off. Despite the Foo Fighters' marvellous set last night I have come away feeling completely ripped off.
Richard Fletcher, UK

The organisation at the Leeds festival was atrocious . The car-parking was chaotic, the stewards didn't know what they were doing, there was a half hour walk from the campsites to the arena, and best of all, about 30,000 people were directed down one single track road. Who on earth planned for there to be only one way of getting from the arena back to the campsites? After the headliners had finished, almost the entire crowd were trying to make their way down a track that was only about 20 feet wide in places. I'm not excusing the way those animals behaved on the last night, but the organisers did nothing to diffuse tensions. It seems unlikely that Leeds festival will get a license next year, but even if it does, I won't be going - I'll be at Reading instead. It's much further for me to travel, but it's worth it to go to e festival that's well organised, and consequently much more pleasant.
Stephen Heslop, England

I went to Reading festival and saw no trouble at all. Everyone seemed good-natured. This is the third time I've been to the festival and this by far has been the best yet.
Matthew Cox, UK

Reading was mint this year. The line up was fantastic, and there was a much better atmosphere, more community spirit and better weather!!!

However, overpriced food and drink ruined it, having to pay £2 for water, £2 for an ice cream and £4 for burgers was way too much. The crowd was treated to a fantasical display, but one wonders if tickets are going to be over £100 next year, just to fleece the punters a bit more, just to line some fat cat's wallet.
Mike Elmes, England

Reading 2002, this is how it is: The Dillinger Escape Plan basically showed every other rock act there how it should be done, with riffing dexterity and a TRUEY alternative approach, this is what music should be about. Such was their performance I think to mention anyone else would only be-little their achievement.
Sonny Winston, England

I was at Gig On The Green and T in the Park and both were fantastic line ups. T in the Park was much better organised and I think Gig suffered from a lack of good advertising. A gig with that line up in the centre of Glasgow should attract double the crowd it did. I saw no trouble at either and everyone just wanted to have a good time.
Justin Clark, Scotland

Just got back from the Lowlands festival in Holland, absolutely excellent, good bands, well organised and very friendly people, never going to a UK festival again, just hope all the British scallys don't come and ruin this one...
Andrew, UK

After many years of going to T in the Park, this was my first Reading festival so I tried to keep an open mind. The first thing which struck me however is how small the site is, the Evening Session stage was so low it was tricky to see anything and I am 6ft. As for the Carling stage, I saw bigger tents in the campsite. There was also too few toilets and they were pretty gross. Still after all that the line up was pretty good especially in the Carling and Evening Session stages, and the promoters should be congratulated for attracting so many up and coming new bands. The main stage was somewhere to avoid on the Sunday as with the dominantly young Nu-metal crowd it felt more like a school trip out than a festival. The biggest question to stem from the weekend is that if Reading can get it largely right how can Leeds get it so wrong twice in a row? After all the line up is the same and should therefore attract a similar type of fan.
Ian, UK

The Reading Festival this year (2002) was the best weekend of my life! I'm deadly serious about this too! I can't fault it at all. It was everything a festival should have been. I went to Leeds lan. I went to Leeds last year, and heard about it this year, but Reading is so much better! It's perfect.
Hobbs, United Kingdom

Went to Reading for the Sunday and had a wicked time. The music was cool with Puddle of Mudd being my faves, also Oxide and Neutrino were good in the dance tent. The stalls were fab and some great bargins to be had. Overall, well worth the rather expensive day ticket.
Laura, UK

I went to Leeds, my second time at the festival. What can I say? I thought it was a little pricey but less so than Leeds 2000. I enjoyed the bands, all seemed really happy to be playing! Organisation, after some reservations, was really good.

Most of all, the people at the festival where so friendly! Everyone had smiles on their faces and I spent much of my time there talking to complete strangers like I'd known them for years.

The fires, well... That was a shadow on an otherwise great weekend. But I dare anyone to say that Reading has never had any trouble in its history.
Mark, UK

Greenbelt 2002 was superb. The bands were excellent, the speakers were inspiring, only the weather wasn't outstanding. It was wonderful being with over 10,000 other Christians and experiencing something new.
JW, UK

Summer Festivals 2002

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